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 Review, Logitech Z-540 computer speakers
The testing
By: Sverre Sjøthun, November 7, 2002  Print this article


These speakers were tested using the onboard C-media chip on the Asus A7V333 motherboard. Unfortunately, this has only 2 channels, so I was unable to test the true potential in surround. For those of you that have 4 channels or more, see it as an “added bonus”.

The satellites placed on the desk

The satellites placed on the desk

The first song I played was “Norah Jones – Seven years”. The sound of the whole album “Come away with me” is amazing, lots of acoustic instruments and is very demanding. The human voice is extremely hard to reproduce correctly, and the same goes for classic and steel string guitars.

To tell you the truth, I was blown away – I would never expect a cheap set like this play so good on what’s so demanding. What probably made me most surprised were the roomy feeling, correct timing and relatively speaking great treble. It was almost like sitting in a small club with Norah Jones singing only a few feet away from you. The midrange, however, sounds a bit dull and not very articulated.

Next song up was the title track sampled from the BB King & Eric Clapton album “Riding with the King”. For those of you that don’t know the album, it’s blues. The song has a nice room, quite heavy and slow bass and of course electrical guitars and solos. The high-pitched solos tend to sound dreadful on poor systems, due to distortion in the driver.

Yet again, I was mighty surprised at how well it handled it. The solo was not very hard on the ears and both BB King and Eric Clapton “were standing where they were supposed”. The bass was nice and dry, but it did have a tendency to not stop when it was supposed to, causing it to sound a bit “sloppy”. It doesn’t take much power to make a cone start moving, but it takes a lot to make it stop moving, i.e. timing, and the lack of power in the amplifier is causing this.

Time has come to put these speakers through some torture, and what’s better than Death Metal. Yep, you heard me right, Death Metal. Death Metal has an extremely dense sound, it’s almost like a huge concrete wall of sound, and if the speakers can’t differentiate the different instruments, it’ll sound like white noise at full volume. Not very nice.

I chose “Dimmu Borgir – Kings of the Carnival Creation” from their album “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia”, which I dare to say is about the best there is in this genre. As earlier, most things where they were supposed to be, and the subwoofer didn’t have too much problems keeping up with the insane speed of Nicholas’ arms and feet as he was pounding away on his drums and cymbals. It still miss the timing a bit, and the guitar tends to be a bit hard on my ears, but still pretty amazing good.

Last test was to see how low the woofer could go. This is where Hard House comes in handy, and more specifically "Signum – What ya got 4 me". I just couldn’t help my self -- this put a big grin all over my face. However, it was not able to reproduce the lowest frequencies, you just got a hint of what’s really there. As Logitech has specified in the documentation, the bandwidth is 35 Hz - 20 kHz, and it may be true, but not at +/- 3dB which is the de-facto standard of measuring audio bandwidth. My estimate, an educated guess, is not lower than 45Hz, and most certainly not lower than 40Hz.

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  Some thoughts and facts about sound
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